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California Right to Know Act of 2013

California state flagThe California Right to Know act is meant to address the flood of personal information that has been collected, relatively unnoticed, from Americans. Using social sites, mobile apps, and a cavalcade of other tools, businesses and malcontents alike are able to gather as much information from the web on an individual as they like. The new California act hopes to provide Californians a way to monitor what information is being collected and how it's being used. The fear of “saying too much” online about personal information has existed for a long time, but only recently have companies developed ways to harvest that information and create personalized advertising, emailing, and data to sell to other companies. Consider two examples included in the article of how your information is being used: Many popular mobile apps share location, age, gender, phone numbers, and other personal details of both adults and children with third party companies. Several women and children have been hurt or killed when cell providers or applications collected and shared location data with abusers. Data brokers buy, sell, and trade personal information obtained from mobile phones, banks, social media sites, and stores. Americans have lost jobs and been denied mortgages when data brokers shared incorrect information and scammers use data broker lists to target vulnerable populations like seniors. The Act opens up how and why this sort of information is collected, and how consumers can stop the collection of their personal data. This is a larger discussion than just California, of course, as there will no doubt be more laws and more discussion throughout the US and Europe on what constitutes fair use and fair play.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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